7 contents

Tales against the war

To open processes of appeasement where there aren’t any, to recover the political imagination and deactivate war ideologies.

Works in the MACBA Collection committed to peace. Throughout this itinerary we revisit some of the tales against the war that have come to light since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict.

War Games: Francesc Abad and the Spirit of a Time
Zeitgeist, one of Francesc Abad’s first installations, was presented in 1985 at the Sala Muncunill in Terrassa. The title is a word that refers to the spirit of the time, which in Abad’s hands is here converted into an anti-war theme.
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The war according to Miralda: “The utter boredom I felt during military service”
Miralda started drawing his first soldiers during the period of compulsory military service from 1962 to 1966. He was making drawings of soldiers in their habitual positions: sitting, standing, stretched out, standing at attention or ease.
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About borders and lives: Chaplet by Mircea Cantor
Mircea Cantor reproduces his own inky fingerprints on the wall. While the title of the work seems to allude to a crown or a garland, the layout of the installation in the gallery space evokes the idea of borders and barbed wire like the ones that normally bar the way to cultures and lives.
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The dengbêj or the voices that say:The Kurdistan of Fikret Atay
Atay uses video to document this situation and the inevitable dialogue between traditional culture and Western influences. Lalo’s Story portrays a friend interpreting a dengbêj –literally “the voices that say” – for the grandfather of the artist. The dengbêj is a typical way of telling stories in that region and includes songs and narration about love and war.
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Wars that cross generations: Akram Zaatari’s Lebanon
Akram Zaatari is part of a generation of Lebanese artists who have focused their attention on armed conflicts and post-war life in this Middle Eastern country. In this context, he produced Nature morte (2008), a video that shows two men seated in a drab, white-walled room. The lack of dialogue emphasises the distance between two generations that approach war in different ways.
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How the Gulf War perverted the narrative of war: Harun Farocki’s trilogy
In the Eye / Machine trilogy, Farocki deals with the technology of war and how that visual technology has penetrated civilian life. In his films he brings out the fact that the human eye is losing the capacity to distinguish between real and fictional images.
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